Host Commissioner Guidelines: People diagnosed with a Learning Disability and/or Autism

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for planning and buying healthcare services for around 580,000 people across Somerset. We are a statutory body, established under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Led by local doctors and healthcare professionals with knowledge of their specific communities and patient needs, we are committed to improving the health of Somerset’s population.

We have 64 GP member practices, which form 13 Primary Care Networks. They work together to ensure the best possible healthcare is available and meets the needs of people in Somerset.

We plan local healthcare and buy services from district hospitals such as Musgrove Park Hospital in TauntonYeovil District Hospital and some out of county hospitals such as Bath’s Royal United Hospital. We also fund community and mental health services from Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

We work with patients, the public, and many partners, including local hospitals, local authorities, and local voluntary and community groups. Our goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Somerset.

NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement (NHSI) published Host Commissioner Guidance in January 2021.  This describes a clear expectation that as the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) we ensure that we have assurances and maintain effective quality surveillance of independent hospitals caring for people who have been placed by different CCGs into Somerset.  For Somerset CCG this oversight relates to Cygnet Hospital Taunton, which supports people with a diagnosis of a mental health condition or a diagnosis of a learning disability and/or autism. The hospital address is provided at the end of this page.

Whilst the Host Commissioner Guidance relates specifically to the quality of care for people with a diagnosis of Learning Disability and/or Autism, at Somerset CCG we have decided to extend elements of the oversight described by NHSE/I to all people placed at this location.

You can review the Host Commissioner guidelines for people diagnosed with a Learning Disability and/or Autism here.

You can also contact us via our Host Commissioner inbox at Please mark it for the attention of the MH/LD Commissioning and Quality Teams.

At Somerset CCG our role as Host Commissioner is to:

  • Maintain quality surveillance of our local independent hospital.
  • Be the point of contact for all placing CCGs in relation to quality assurance queries.
  • Collate intelligence and triangulate information to address any quality or safety issues.
  • To share and request intelligence across commissioners placing people in our area.

The role of CCGs placing in Somerset is to:

  • Inform host commissioners before you decide to place a person into our area.
  • Talk to us about any quality or governance concerns you identify which are not addressed or managed appropriately and in a timely way by the hospital.
  • Collaborate with us by attending regular collaborative assurance meetings. The purpose of these is to share information across all system stakeholders and work together to support independent hospitals to maintain a high and consistent quality of service delivery, mitigate risk, resolve concerns, and highlight good practice.

Quality Surveillance in Somerset

Somerset CCG is developing its quality oversight for independent hospitals in our area, and this includes:

  • Ongoing and supportive contact to seek assurance about the quality of care delivered.
  • Scheduled quality visits at least twice a year and regular meetings with the Hospital Manager.
  • Collating intelligence provided by various stakeholders, such as placing commissioners, CQC, Safeguarding colleagues and Cygnet.
  • Establishing a formal and collaborative assurance process across placing CCGs and other stakeholders where concerns have been identified or to enable the sharing of good practice and learning.

Reporting Safeguarding Concerns

We work very closely with our Local Authority Safeguarding Team to share intelligence about any allegations of abuse or neglect. Should you have any safeguarding concerns or wish to make a safeguarding referral it will be your responsibility as placing CCG to contact the Somerset County Council Safeguarding Team. The Somerset Safeguarding Team will also contact you direct should a local safeguarding concern be raised that involves the person you have placed in Somerset.

For any safeguarding concerns about an independent hospital in Somerset please contact Somerset Adult Social Care Safeguarding Adults Team:

  • Telephone: Somerset Direct 0300 123 2224
  • Email:
  • To report an adult safeguarding concern in Somerset you can access the ‘Professionals Safeguarding Referral’ form on the Somerset Safeguarding Adult website ( (yellow box at the bottom of the home page)

Please talk to us when you are considering placing a person with a diagnosis of a Learning Disability and/or Autism in Somerset.

NHSE/I Out of Area Placement Toolkit

If you intend to place a person in Somerset, we invite you to contact us in advance and we will be able to advise you of any current safety or quality concerns.  When contacting us please do not include person identifiable information in your emails.  As Host CCG we will never ask for identifiable information about people you place in our area. 

Please contact us at:  Please mark it for the attention of the MH/LD Commissioning and Quality Teams.

Once you have placed a person in Somerset:

If you have already placed a patient within Somerset, please contact us so we can invite you to our Host Commissioners meetings; the meetings are held every six weeks and enable us to triangulate information.  We encourage all placing commissioners to discuss themes of concern (please note – individual issues should be raised by you with the hospital manager immediately) as well as to share positive experiences of Cygnet Hospital.

It is important that CCGs placing in Somerset talk to us about any quality or governance concerns they may identify.  This will help us triangulate information and address any identified concerns as Host Commissioner.  We also encourage our independent providers to talk to us about concerns that arise.  You can tell us about a concern by contacting us at Please mark it for the attention of the MH/LD Commissioning and Quality Teams.

Somerset Independent Hospitals
Cygnet Hospital Taunton
Orchard Portman
Somerset, TA3 7BQ
Tel: 01823 336457

For queries concerning Wellesley/Elysium Hospital, Wellington, Somerset, please contact